As Latin music continues to grow on American soil, mainstream artists who straddle both the American and Latin American music markets like Jennifer Lopez may have to respectfully move over; their predecessors are hitting the scene in the form of a new generation of upcoming Latin artists, one of those artists being Miami’s Veronica Vega. The Cuban-Venezuelan singer is ready to turn up for Latin music as the newest signee to Polow’s da Don’s Interscope Records imprint Zone 4. The dual cultures that which Vega embraces inspired Polow da Don: "Working with Vega has been a life changing experience – Culturally, Musically, and Spiritually,” Polow da Don said in a statement. “With all that I know about music, I've been just as much a student during the process of this project. This project opens my eyes to how big the world really is."
Her latest single is the fiery “El Papel (Paper)” featuring rapper Betty Idol, which is their take on the viral track “The Harlem Shake” (see below). But don’t pin Vega into the “trend follower” box. She made a video showing her vocal chops, covering the Selena classic “No Me Queda Mas,” a credit to the many classic influences in her repertoire (seen below also).
Now, a couple of weeks before the release of her official single “Wicked” featuring Pitbull, Singersroom caught up with the bilingual beauty to chat about the mainstay of Latin music, working with Chris Brown and Lloyd, and her goals to impact the music game.
Singersroom: You’re Cuban and Venezuelan. Is it important for you to inject that part of your culture into your music?
Veronica Vega: Absolutely! I feel like there isn’t somebody that’s doing it the same way, so I think it’s really important for people to know about a culture that they’re not necessarily aware of.
Singersroom: Do you sing and rap?
Vega: I sing, but I do rap for fun so whenever we’re having fun and doing something creative in the studio I’ll try it out and experiment and try to come up with some really dope stuff, but my specialty is singing.
Singersroom: Because of the dual talents, how would you feel if people were to compare you to Nicki Minaj?
Vega: I think that’s amazing! She definitely sets a tone for a lot of new artists because now it’s kind of like if you are a singer and you can rap it’s just a whole other level, and she’s amazingly talented, so to be compared or put in the same category , to me, is just a privilege and honor.
Singersroom: From a music standpoint, what can fans expect from your upcoming project?
Vega: A lot of energy! Some of the records are bilingual, and we also have, not infusions, but a lot of drum-driven and high energy. So that’s what I would say, something you can definitely dance to, for sure.
Singersroom: As a new artist, what kind of impact do you want to make?
Vega: Ultimately, I think at the end of the day, people will recognize you for whatever the obvious is, or whatever they see off rip, you know the visual, or whatever they hear. But what I’d like for people to get from me is hard work and dedication, and that ultimately anything that you really put your mind to, you can do. So to me the most important thing as an artist is to be able to show kids and anybody who has a goal, not even a dream but just something that they want to accomplish, that it’s possible with hard work. So that’s really the biggest statement that I wanna make.
Singersroom: You’re about to film the video for “Wicked” with Pitbull. Can you tell a little sneak peek of the video concept?
Vega: It’s really high energy. The song is really witty, Pitbull’s talking really slick. I think it’s a great combination. We’re both Cuban and we’re both from Miami, it’s like we created a great chemistry. The video is the same, it definitely shows the Cuban Latin culture, not necessarily Cuban and Venezuelan, but I just feel like it’s something that’s gonna be new for Americans and even people in Latin America or across the pond to be able to be like “oh wow!” to be able to be put on game about new dances and new things that we don’t necessarily do here, but are a little bit wild. So the video to me is wild and colorful.
Singersroom: When did you know music would be your professional calling?
Vega: I think since the first time I ever heard a song. I think it’s just something that you feel in your veins, it’s electrifying, and it’s powerful and since the first time I heard music, I knew I wanted to do music or be involved in music someway somehow. So I would say since was like two! (laughs)
Singersroom: You cover the Selena classic “No Me Queda Mas” on Youtube. Who else do you musically look up to?
Vega: I have a lot of musical influences, different influences for different reasons. I love Whitney Houston, I love Celine Dion. I’m very much influenced by Jennifer Lopez and Selena, of course. Mariah Carey, those are like my main girls, if I had to say girls, I really, really like them a lot.
Singersroom: Any male artists?
Vega: I like a lot of male artists as well. I love Marc Anthony, I think he’s a great performer and vocalist, I like Carlos Santana. I like a few more but right now off rip, I really, really like Marc Anthony. I look up to him. I like that he sings in both English and Spanish, I love that he’s bilingual and I think he’s super dope.
Singersroom: What artist do you listen to currently and why?
Vega: I like to listen to Aventura a lot, they’re a Spanish group that sings Bachata, and I play them on my Pandora a lot. I currently listening to 2 Chainz, I love 2 Chainz and Drake. I still listen to my girls, I still listen to Mariah, I still listen to Celine, I still listen to Whitney, those are still my favorite things to listen to, but as far as new stuff, I would say like, dirty, grimy, more rap stuff.
Singersroom: Tell me about the new single "Wicked." Did you work with Pitbull directly? If so what was that like?
Vega: We did it together, he’s amazing, he’s super humble, and we understand each other really well, I’ve known him now or a while so his energy is high, he’s very creative, and he knows what he wants just as I do, so for us, it’s a no-brainer, it’s like magical for us to work together.
Singersroom: You worked with Lloyd and Chris Brown on the song “Luv Me Girl.” How did that come about?
Vega: Well, I work with producer Polow the Don and Lloyd is one our label mates, so he was doing his album and we were in the studio together. And Polow was like “how do you like your beat?” and then Lloyd was like “Why don’t you be on the record?” So I was like “Oh, ok!” And then they got Chris to be on the record as well. So Lloyd and Polow were like “Can you be on the record?” And I was like “of course, I would love to be on the record. And so we recorded it that same night.
Singersroom: Do you see Latin music coming more into the American mainstream market?
Vega: Yeah, absolutely. Especially in America because there’s so many immigrants and parents that come to the United States for a better life for the American Dream so they bring their children and their children are bilingual, speak English and Spanish or at least understand Spanish so they very much appreciate an artist that does both, that can sing in English and Spanish. For example like Aventura and his name is actually Romeo Santos and we all love him a lot because he does both. And that’s why Marc Anthony is so dope and J. Lo.’s so dope, and Shakira because they give us what we know and what we know is two languages in our households. So I do think it’s gonna be a lot bigger now in the new generation.
Singersroom: What are your career goals for the next 3 years?
Vega: I would pray that I have a successful first album and that people love my music and that my fans appreciate it. To me that’s the most important thing for the next three years, is to be able to focus on my music, make great music, put it out and for people to appreciate it and love it. That’s really my biggest goal is for people to love what I do and to be able to perform in different places and become the best performer I can be.
Singersroom: Do you have an album title yet?
Vega: I already picked a title that I want but I think I’m gonna hold off on telling it for a little bit. I wanna make sure that everything is perfect with it before.